Mayor Proclaims Historic Crime Drop in NYC. Rockaway Residents…Do You Feel Safer?

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After the NYPD released 2016 crime statistics last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared that 2016 was a benchmark for the historic crime drop in NYC. “2016 marks a record year in crime reduction, made possible by the greatest police department in the world and transformative crime-fighting strategies that have built trust between police and communities.  We’ve done it all, working toward a more just city by reducing arrests and curtailing the overuse of stop and frisk.”

In Rockaway, the 100th Precinct, which serves neighborhoods, Arverne, Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Neponsit, Rockaway Park, Rockaway Beach and Roxbury, reported a total of 496 crimes in 2016, compared to 503 in 2015. The 101st Precinct, which serves Far Rockaway, reported a total of 905 crimes in 2016, compared to 926 in 2015.

Rockaway residents, do you feel safer? Note that when you look at the total number of crimes committed in the entire peninsula, these recent stats only show a reduction of 2.3 percent from 2015.

“We identified the worst individuals across the city,” said Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. “We found that the same people carrying guns, the same people witnessing crimes, the same people were committing crimes.”

However in Rockaway, grand larceny increased. In the 100th Precinct, grand larceny felonies were 232 in 2016 compared to 196 in 2015, and in the 101st Precinct, 228 were reported, compared to 218 in 2015. So Rockaway residents, as you will note in the crime statistics table: murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary have indeed decreased, however, keep close tabs on your property.

Some of de Blasio’s critics say the credit for the crime numbers rested largely with the NYPD, not with the mayor. Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the union of police officers, said the crime drop was “due to the dedication and professionalism of the women and men who actually do the work to keep our streets safe.”  

Police Commissioner James O’Neill cites the department’s recent embrace of neighborhood coordination officers who work in local precincts as a factor in the crime reductions. “Everything we do now is geared at fighting crime and keeping people safe — everything,” O’Neill said. “It’s now much more than answering a traditional 911 call. It’s about a deeper problem-solving.”

According to the numbers, 12 percent of the major crimes committed in the city last year were connected to patterns and repeat offenders — up from less than six percent four years ago.

NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Dermot Shea said the increase was actually a good thing as the department began practicing what’s known as precision policing. “We are putting patterns together earlier, and then when we do bring those cases to a successful conclusion, it has the greatest impact,” Shea said.

Do you feel safer? Rockaway residents, read what your neighbors have to say about this recent release of crime statistics from the mayor in our new feature, Rock Pops on Page 40.

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